Is Cheap The Best?

The Costs Of Passive Fire Protection

It seems like anything in life, we would like to pay less and get more. But typical of most things, this is rarely the case.

And fireproofing falls into that category as well. We were recently asked to inspect a Structural Steel Fireproofing project in Malaysia where not only the fireproofing was falling off, but also the lack of skill and pride that was in the workmanship was horrific, not to mention incorrect thicknesses.

First and foremost, the incorrect thicknesses of the steel coating found meant that the fireproofing could not achieve the designated 2 hour Fire Rating, and was an immediate failure. This was an immediate RED flag and was brought up to the engineering and asset owners.

Cheap Fire Protection
Failed Fire Coating

Although we are not cementitious manufacturers, but intumescent thin film Coating manufacturers, we did not have to be specialists in this case to see failure and poor choice of installation. You cannot fault a supplier for the application of their product (unless completed by the manufacturer). As you see in the photo’s the fireproofing is falling off, leaving exposed flanges and no reinforcement or mesh, which is typical of a cementitious product, and most importantly they system has never been sealed.

Needless to say, we have been asked to replace the existing fireproofing with CharCoat SC120, which is no easy task given removal of existing failed fireproofing, preparation and installation.

The funny thing is, we quoted this project originally and the asset owner went for the “cheapest” installed quotation and as you can see, cheap was not a good choice as it will now cost 4 times the contract cost to repair and replace.

Thinking your saving money by choosing the most inexpensive solution can sometimes be a very expensive exercise.

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